Freshman Kelley Lynch looked every bit of the player she was made out to be against Florida State, as the No. 1 Washington softball team bounced back from its first loss of the season in a convincing way, topping No. 5 Florida State 7-0.
It was an all-around dominant performance from the Huskies (8-1) and Lynch, who struck out six and shut out the Seminoles (6-2) in 5 1/3 innings of work. Lynch also did her damage at the plate, opening the scoring in the second with a two-out, three-run home run, the first of her collegiate career.
There were many moments where Lynch looked mature beyond her years in the circle, highlighted by an impressive third inning.
Things started shaky for Lynch in the third, who allowed the first three runners to reach base, loading the bases for the heart of the Seminoles batting order. Lynch got All-American third baseman Sydney Sherrill to pop out, then recorded two straight strikeouts, leaving the Seminoles empty handed.
Lynch then cruised through two more scoreless innings before being pulled with one out in the sixth inning.
The Huskies added a SilentRain Espinoza home run in the fourth, forcing Seminoles starting pitcher Caylan Arnold out of the game. Washington also got a run in the fifth and tacked on two more in the sixth, stretching the lead to seven.
Gabbie Plain finished FSU off, giving Washington its first win of the season over a ranked opponent.
Huskies blow lead, come back against the Flames
In the nightcap, Washington needed a comeback effort against the Liberty to grab its second win of the day.
The Huskies jumped out to an early 4-0 lead after second innings, mostly via the bat of catcher Morganne Flores. An RBI double in the first was followed by her third home run of the year, a two-run shot, in the second inning.
Freshman Brooke Nelson got her first career UW start, going three innings, allowing three runs on four hits. She got off to a hot start, throwing three scoreless innings before running into trouble in the fourth. Plain once again came in as relief and allowed two inherited runners to score, tying the game, but limiting any further damage.
For the third time in as many outings though, Plain allowed a home run, a three-run shot in the fifth, allowing the Flames (1-7) to take a 6-5 lead. It was the first time in her UW career that the Australian has allowed a home run in three consecutive games.
The Huskies mounted a comeback in the sixth, though.
With the bases loaded, sophomore Baylee Klingler delivered in the clutch. On a 2-0 count, Klingler laced a double into right-center field, clearing the bases and giving Washington the 8-6 lead. It was Klingler’s second double of the game, and ninth RBI of the young season.
Lynch added two more with an RBI double, stretching the UW lead to four before junior Pat Moore worked a scoreless seventh in relief, earning the win.
Washington looks to continue its success as it takes on No. 18 South Carolina tomorrow at 5:00 PM.
Reach reporter Anthony Edwards at email@example.com. Twitter: @edwardsanthonyb